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Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Moses Cone

On December 8, 1908, pioneering textile entrepreneur Moses Cone died at age 51. He was buried in Blowing Rock on his 3,600-acre country estate, now part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The eldest son of immigrants from Bavaria, Moses and his brother, Ceasar, began contracting with southern mill owners to market their textiles in 1891. They opened their own mill in Greensboro in 1895, and, by 1902, were operating White Oak Mill, the largest denim manufacturer in the world at the time.

Moses Cone was a conservationist and philanthropist. The Cone mill villages provided a social support network for their workers, and Cone hired the farmers from whom he bought his Blowing Rock land to continue to work there. He brought in whitetail deer, a number of varieties of apples, white pine and hemlock, and developed three lakes stocked with bass and trout.

Cone was also an advocate for education. He gave four dollars to the schools of Blowing Rock for every dollar raised by its citizens, and contributed to the start of Appalachian State University, serving on its original board. His widow, Bertha, sustained the estate until it was left to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro upon her death in 1947.

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